Introducing QUASI STELLAE: A Journal for the Inquiring Catholic

Perhaps you have noticed in the menu bar the new addition of the QUASI STELLAE tab? I originally envisioned the idea for a philosophical journal as a whole new website, but after I started to think about the project, I thought that a page on CatholicEclipsed would work just as well.

It is my intention to explore the crisis of the Church from philosophy, and publish articles on the QS page which dive into the principles behind the crisis, to help make sense of things. There will of course be overlap into theological principles–those truths which come from Divine revelation instead of reason–but generally I would like to focus on the philosophical underpinnings of what we believe, as that is my special competency and training.

As you navigate through the page, you will see that there is a table of contents which has hyperlinks to the various content on the page. This will be periodically updated with new material, which I will announce through the CE Log. The one I am currently working on, and which is published in part, is On the Form and Matter of the Papacy, which takes a look at what the papacy is from an analysis of the form and matter. Though it does not state outright, the article (which is made up of three articles), has Bishop Sanborn’s paper, On Being Pope Materially in the background, which gives voice to the objections the articles try to deal with.

Let me share with you a word on the method of the Dialectic of Saint Thomas Aquinas, which I have adopted for my mine on QUASI STELLAE. There is a great short article on, “St. Thomas Aquinas for Beginners,” by David A. Smither, which I encourage you to read in full. Below is a section taken from the website, on how to read the articles written in the dialectic style of Aquinas:


Articles of the Summa are written in the style of a “scholastic disputation.” These are really short, systematic debates, and once you know your way around them they are a ton of fun to read. Sadly, most people who open the Summa get lost in the seemingly obtuse structure of the articles, get discouraged by this, and end up giving up on St. Thomas.

The basic structure is as follows.

  1. Statement of the Question, usually in a yes/no form.
  2. Objections, wherein Aquinas summarizes arguments against his own position.
  3. “On the contrary,” wherein Aquinas quotes from an authority like the Bible, a Father of the Church, or ancient pagan philosophers like Aristotle, in support of his own position.
  4. “I answer that,” wherein Aquinas argues for his own position. This is typically the longest part of the article and where the real substance of Aquinas’ one view is to be found.
  5. “Replies,” wherein Aquinas answers each of the previously stated objections and explains why it’s wrong, frequently by recourse to careful distinctions that show the objection to be partly right and partly wrong.

It is very difficult to write as clear as Saint Thomas Aquinas, because one needs to have the clarity of thought that he had in order to do so. Oftentimes elaboration and a casual style are more appropriate for difficult and complex issues of philosophy. When this is the case, I will venture from the scholastic disputation style of Aquinas, and write more in the classical style, with an introduction, definition of terms, body, and conclusion. But the method used in presenting arguments in the Summa served Aquinas and generations after him very well, so I will utilize mainly this method.

I hope you check out the QUASI STELLAE page, and frequently return to it for new articles. Further, I hope it may help to clarify certain issues, or open up your mind to grander vistas of the faith.